Low-frequency ionospheric sounding with Narrow Bipolar Event lightning radio emissions: energy-reflectivity spectrum
Abstract. We analyze data on radio-reflection from the D-region of the lower ionosphere, retrieving the energy-reflection coefficient in the frequency range ~5–95 kHz. The data are the same as developed for a recent study of ionospheric-reflection height, and are based on recordings of powerful (multi-Gigawatt) radio emissions from a type of narrow (~10 μs) lightning discharge known as "Narrow Bipolar Events". The sequential appearance of first the groundwave signal, and then the ionospheric single-hop reflection signal, permits us to construct the energy-reflection ratio. We infer the energy reflection's statistical variation with solar zenith angle, angle-of-incidence, frequency, and propagation azimuth. There is also a marginally-significant response of the energy reflectivity to solar X-ray flux density. Finally, we review the relationship of our results to previous published reports.